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9th Annual Jazz In The Gardens – Doing It Right

March 12, 2014 Leave a comment
9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens poster

9th Annual Jazz in the Gardens poster

The ninth installment of South Florida’s uber jazz festival dubbed “Jazz in the Gardens 9” gets on the way from March 15-16, 2014, on the grounds of the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.  In case, you have been hiding under a rock for the last eight years, Jazz in the Gardens (“JITG9”) was created by the former City of Miami Gardens Mayor Shirley Gibson.  Over the past eight years, JITG has been held as a two-day festival, but this year, the organizers  added the first annual opening night party featuring the 80s Dazz Band with the SOS Band, to  be held at Calder Casino & Race Course on March 14.  This musical extravaganza has grown to become highly regarded in comparison to its counterparts around the country, and is definitely a “must-see and must go” for music lovers both nationally and internationally, attracting some 63,000 fans in 2013. The JITG stage has been graced by some of the music world’s biggest icons  from across the globe.  With artists such as Jonathan Butler, Angelique Kidjo, KEM, O’Jays, Isley Brothers, Al Jarreau, George Duke, Common, Erykah Badu, Nancy Wilson, Kenny G, Stanley Clarke and Maze featuring Frankie Beverly (Clarke and Maze are both returning this year), so one could definitely say music fans were have been treated to a musical feast for the past eight years.  JITG9’s lineup of musical acts will satisfy the young at heart and the seasoned fan, who enjoys a little Soul, Hip Hop, R&B Classics and would even get down with some Adult Contemporary flavor.  The opening night party will reintroduced fans to the 80s hot shot bands, from Cleveland, Ohio’s Dazz Band (Let It Whip) to Atlanta’s very own SOS Band (Take Your Time – Do It Right), it should be a show with each band parading their hits, as both bands have had their fair share.  Saturday’s lineup will showcase the stylings of jazz man himself Boney James, R&B crooners Mint Condition, Trey Songz and Jamie Foxx and R&B goddess Kelly Rowland.  When Rachelle Ferrell, Stanley Clarke, Anthony Hamilton and LL COOL J hit the stage on Sunday, all of the fans on the grounds of the Sun Life Stadium will be blown away by the  musical diversity. But with all the saxophone, bass guitars and showmanship,  closing out Sunday night will be the incomparable, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, who is also returning to JITG9 and whose existence and track record needs no further  introduction. With such hits as “Happy Feelings,” “Workin Together,” and “Lady of Magic,” this group who arrived on the scene in 1977 ha snot missed a beat since.  For the true JITG fan, the festival is not only about the music and the artists performing, JITG is about bringing  cultures together, it is about the foods, the friendships and the vibes.  JITG9 will bring together vendors and their culinary creations from vegetarian to BBQ, so bring your healthy appetite.  Every good music festival surely needs a great host, so for JITG9 comedian/actor D.L. Hughley signed on to be the Emcee.  Hughley will have some big shoes to fill as “Fly Jock” Tom Joyner and Michael Baisden brought their A game to JITG previously.  However, Hughley is no slouch, he is one of the four Original Kings of Comedy and has launched his own daily radio show – “The D.L. Hughley Show, which airs on Reach Media Network and done his own HBO special. Bring on the fun stuff – I know you will DL.

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Eric Roberson On The Move

March 10, 2010 Leave a comment

On Sunday, March 21, 2010, when the sun goes down on the Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, soul music will get another chance to make a comeback. The artist bringing this musical sentiment will be none other than the hot young singer/songwriter/producer, who hails as Eric Roberson.

Known affectionately as “Erro,” Roberson will make a stop in at the Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival for the first time, and what a great way to make his South Florida debut. Jazz In The Gardens music festival which is in its fifth installment, is renowned for bringing together a star-studded cast of performers, and will once again deliver with Roberson.

Born in Rahway, New Jersey on May 8, 1976, Roberson comes a musical family heritage, that’s deeply embedded in the music, he puts out today. He has been blessed with a world class voice and a gift as a songwriter. Under the guidance of his father who is a musician himself, Erro has evolved into a promising young star. After graduation from a New Jersey grammar school, Eric Roberson received a full scholarship to Howard University. While at Howard, Eric received his first recording deal from Warner Bros. in 1994, releasing the song “The Moon”, which broke the top 40 on the Billboard R&B Singles chart.

Unfortunately, Roberson’s relationship with Warner Bros. ended soon thereafter; so he returned to Howard University and finished his degree in 1997. From this point, Roberson was determined to enter the music industry. In Roberson, Jazz In The Gardens concert goers will find an example of an artist who is trying to bring back soul music, and all that goes with it. A genre that once stood strong as the voice of love, unity, happiness, togetherness, and upliftment; looks to have lost its firm hold in the music industry. Roberson and his body of work – both songs written and produced, delivers the flagship soulful sounds. His distinctive sound and lyrics is enough to stir this genre of music back to the frontline, and simply there may be no way to stop this brother.

Eric Roberson is a Grammy Award nominated songwriter and the undisputed ambassador of an eccentric blend of soul music. He has been a leader and mentor, and has continually to pave the road on how to be successful in the music business. For fifteen years, he has consistently produced eminent soul music.

His work as a songwriter should be duly noted and is evidenced on the song “So Long” for the group Phajja. Roberson earned his way into the music business first by. He is credited for some great song including but not limited to: 112 – “Funny Feelings” (1998), Will Downing – All the Man You Need (2000), Case – Open Letter (2001), Musiq Soulchild – “Merry Go Round”(2000), “Previous Cats” (2002) and Vivian Green – “What Is Love.” Eric Roberson also performed and co-wrote a duet with Jill Scott called “One Time” from the Down To Earth soundtrack. You can also find Eric Roberson working with DJ Jazzy Jeff with the song “Rock with You” and “For the Love of Da Game”, and vocal collaboration with Raheem DeVaughn. Other notable work to be considered is “I Have A Song” for the Prison Song soundtrack, and “Hold On”, written for Dwele on his Subject album.

Eric Roberson has created six albums of his own: The Esoteric Movement, The Vault Vol. 1, The Vault Vol. 1.5, and The Appetizer, Left, and Music Fan First. He touches every aspect and facet of soul music, from the love-filled melodic ballets, to the soulful upbeat songs that make you move. Outstanding ballad such as “Just A Dream”, “Def Ears”, and “Should We Try” show the songwriting ability of the artist, as well as the rhythmic creativity in the way the lyrics are arranged in the music.

You can tell that lyrical content is something completely thought out, not just simple works with catchy hooks placed together. He is a storyteller, and this is evident in his work. Smooth, sultry songs like “She Couldn’t Hear Me,” “Rebound,” and “When Love Calls” show you the importance of the subject matter in his music. Precisely teaching you a life lesson musically; this is an exclusive rarity in an artist. Songs such as “Rain on My Parade”, and the critically acclaimed “The Moon”, shows some of the influence of other artists, and gives you that New Jack City R&B feel of the late 80s and early 90s.

He can also make you move with up-tempo songs such as “What I Gotta Do”, “Change For Me”, “Painkiller”, and “Right Back To You”. Earning the honor to work with Lenny Kravitz was a highlight for Roberson’s career. Eric Roberson was one of ten producers in the world, One of two producers chosen in the U.S., and the only soul music producer chosen to remix Lenny Kravitz single “Breathe”, done for Absolute Vodka promotion. Other collaborations of Eric Roberson include working with Marsha Ambrosius from Floetry on “N2U” on his The Appetizer LP, and “She Ought to Know” from the The Vault Vol. 1.5, and J. Rawls on the song “Pleasure Before Pain”.

Never taking anything for granted, he appreciated his fans by including all of their pictures in the 28 pages of his album cover. Roberson received his first Grammy nomination this year, as a 2010 Grammy nominee for his single “A Tale of Two” from the Music Fan First album. For more information about Eric Roberson, please check out his MySpace or his website and for South Florida Music fans, come see Eric Roberson perform on Sunday, March 21, 2010 at Jazz In The Gardens.

Half Time With Pete Townend And The Who – Rock On!

February 5, 2010 Leave a comment


Rock on Dude! Legendary Rocker Pete Townsend of The Who has defended his choice to perform in Super Bowl half-time show, saying that he was saddened by critics who brought back his 2003 link to child pornography.
Townshend and singer Roger Daltrey performed three songs this week as a preview, but the guitarist reacted quite seriously, when asked about two groups that have criticized the NFL’s choice.
”I’ve been very saddened by it,” he said. ”I feel like we’re on the same side. That’s really all I can say.” Townshend was arrested in 2003 in Britain in a child pornography sting but later cleared, saying his accessing of a child pornography website was for his anti-porn activism. ”Anybody who has any doubts about if I should be here or not should investigate a little bit further,” he said. ”For a family that has suffered the issue of child abuse, vigilance is the most important thing, not vigilantism.”
Since an infamous ”wardrobe malfunction” exposed Janet Jackson’s breast six years ago, the NFL has had male headliners, a decision which at times raises a few brows of feminists like me. Sports and Music goes hand in hand at times when the pressures of life wears out down, and that is why, I am giving my thumbs up to The Who and Townsend. Let the good times roll – I say. Townshend and Daltrey will play for 12 minutes at half-time. ”I heard if you take out the advertising and all the breaks the game only lasts for 11½ minutes,” Daltrey said. ”We’re working longer than the players?” Townshend added. ”We should re-do our deal.”
Daltrey touted rugby to as gridiron ”without the breaks, padding and helmets and they get less injuries than the guys in the helmets. British guys are lighter.”

Jazz In The Gardens Music Festival Announces Their 2010 Headliners

December 10, 2009 1 comment

The City of Miami Gardens is pleased to announce the star-studded lineup for the 5th Annual “Jazz in the Gardens” hosted by #1 rated, nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, taking place on Saturday, March 20th and Sunday, March 21st at Dolphin (Landshark) Stadium, 2269 Dan Marino Blvd, Miami Gardens, Florida 33056.

Confirmed artists include the queen of R&B, Mary J. Blige; Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter, John Legend; R&B crooner, Robin Thicke; funk/R&B diva, Teena Marie; 90’s R&B/pop super group, Boyz II Men; Grammy nominated R&B vocalist, Melanie Fiona; jazz chanteuse, Cassandra Wilson; saxophone king, David Sanborn; already classic newcomer, K’Jon; and famed pianist, keyboarder and founding member of the Jazz Crusaders, Joe Sample. Local artist names will be released soon.

Jazz in the Gardens, a two-day weekend festival is now in its fifth year and has grown to be one of the top cultural events in America. The jazz festival delivers a diverse mix of music genres and mixes jazz, pop, R&B, Neo-soul and Caribbean flavors, having something to offer all music aficionados at an affordable price.

“I am proud to proclaim “Jazz in the Gardens” as an undeniable premier stop on the national festival circuit. With audiences coming from international and domestic markets, it has become a major destination event for anyone seeking the combined ambience of fabulous music, sunshine, great food, shopping and beautiful people all in one setting,” says Shirley Gibson, Mayor Miami Gardens.

The 4th Annual Jazz in the Gardens shattered expected ticket sales, enjoying an attendance of almost 40,000, more than double the sales of the 2008 festival. In 2009, the “Jazz in the Gardens” crowd enjoyed performances by Kenneth ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, Kenny G, Maze featuring Frankie Beverly, Erykah Badu, Common, Roy Ayers, Jonathan Butler, Will Downing, and Angelique Kidjo. This year’s line-up raises the bar yet again!

For more information on the highly-anticipated 5th Annual “Jazz in the Gardens” Hosted by Tom Joyner, go to http://www.jazzinthegardens.com or contact the City of Miami Gardens at 1-877-640-5299. All media inquiries should be directed to Circle of One Marketing at 305.576.3790.

The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated on May 13, 2003, as the 33rd city in Miami-Dade County. At a population of approximately 10,000, it is the third largest city in Miami-Dade County. Miami Gardens is a solid, working and middle class community of unique diversity. It is the largest predominantly African-American municipality in the State of Florida and boasts many Caribbean residents. In 2007, the City hosted the 41st annual Super Bowl. The City recently hosted the 2009 college BCS championship game and in 2010, will host the 44th Super Bowl.

For general information on the festival, visit http://www.jazzinthegardens.com or call the event hotline at: 305-622-8043. For vendor and sponsor opportunities, contact Vendor Express at 954-275-3092. All media inquiries should be directed to Circle of One Marketing at 305.576.3790.

Natalie Cole Pulls Out Of Capital Jazz Festival Due To Illness

May 23, 2009 2 comments

natalie cole

Natalie Cole, originally scheduled to perform at the Capital Jazz Fest on Friday, June 5, has canceled her summer touring plans due to medical issues related to her recent kidney transplant.  We wish Natalie the best in her recovery and hope to have her back to perform at a future festival.

However, Chaka Khan has graciously offered to step in to replace Natalie at the festival. Khan, the ten-time Grammy-winner, known for her many hits including “Sweet Thing”, “Through The Fire”, “I’m Every Woman”, and “Tell Me Something Good”, will perform as part of the Friday, June 5 lineup. Chaka Khan will share the bill with Fourplay, which should make for an awesome kickoff to this three-day weekend of cool jazz and soul! We all wish Natalie Cole a speedy recovery and hope that the Capital Jazz Fest will be a stop on her next tour.

There Goes My Baby Charlie Wilson

May 21, 2009 5 comments

Charlie Wilson

When you have created a name by earning fame and recognition two decades ago, as the lead singer of “The Gap Band,” going as a solo act could be tough. So here we are, fast forward to 2009, one would ask if Charlie Wilson could make a come back, and still have the musical stamina and creative genius to compete with the latest “beats”, and music trends in the 21st century R&B. Charlie Wilson has risen to the occasion and managed to fit right in, with people like Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and Ne-Yo, extending his act of yesterday to a fresh new sound for today.

Charlie Wilson, in my humble opinion needs no introduction. But for the young music fans, I will go down memory lane for those wanting to know. Wilson has been upfront and personal in the Gap Band’s overwhelming success going back to the 1970s. As lead singer of the Gap Band they released tracks like “You Dropped The Bomb On Me”, Yearning For Your Love”, “Burn Rubber Burn” and the ever popular “Season No Reasons To Change”. Wilson who was dubbed “the de-facto” father of the new jack , was given credence by artist like Aaron Hall (formerly of Guy) and R Kelly.

Wilson who is currently enjoying success with his latest album entitled “Uncle Charlie”, made a musical entrance or should I say rebirth with the release of “Charlie Last Name Wilson” , about two years ago which made its way on the chart a certified gold. The single, “Charlie Last Name Wilson” was quite an anthem for single men everywhere, who were looking for fresh pick up lines to win the hearts of women. This single written and produced by label mate R Kelly. Wilson collaborated with pop sensation Justin Timberlake On “Signs’. Snoop Dogg and master producer Pharrell Williams teamed up with Wilson on the Grammy nominated “track “Beautiful”. Charlier Wilson is surely appreciating the trends in contempprary music as he ca no doubt compliment the lastest “beats” with his incredible voice and unique stylings. In a recent interview Wilson said he was truly honored to be able to work with todays hottest artists, and thrilled about the success of is music.

To be able to put an equally successful album in a follow up effort tells music critics as well as fans that Wilson cares about quality. A few weeks ago when I received a copy “Uncle Charlie” album, I was hoping that Wilson would deliver like he has in the past. After listening to the record over and over again. I wanted to be sure I was ready toput my pen to paper and tell you that Wilson delivered, and delivery he did.

Judging from the the buzz around town about the Uncle Charlie album, Wilson has got another hit on his hands. He has collaborated with label mate T-Pain on the Supa Sexy track, a truly a great dance tune with some catchy hooklines and the voice of Wilson tearing it up. Wilson was excited to work with T-Pain again. Pain worked with him on Charlie Last Name wilson album, and Wilson said that he was happy he di, as has been watching Pain grow up over the last few years. First of all the song titles on the Uncle Charlie album tells a story of a man who has been around the “love” game long enough and probably broken a few hearts. Also lending his vocals of the remix was Jamie Foxx.

Of course in the tru Charlie Wilson style, “There Goes My Baby is a monster hit from the Uncle harlie album. The lyrics tells a classic story of boy meets girls, but just when you think you have this type of lyrics before, insert Wilson’s baritone voice coupled it with Calvin Richardson and Kenny Babyface Edmonds penmanship and this song a hit you can not miss. After listening to this song, I was thrown way back to my high school days, and those famous summer time jams we all use to love playing on the bopombox at the beach. But gosh, this is also a song for the prom, a wedding song, or just a song hwich tells a story we can all relate to. Oh wait did I say I have a big crush on this track. Let It Out was produced br Gregg Pagani and is a funky joint that should make its way to the dance floors around the world. I am definitely feeling this beat and for sure Charlie…”this one one points me in the right direction”.

When Snoop Dogg listen to the demo for “Let It Out”, he immediately started “to spit’ rhymes and Wilson’ decided that the song was a prefect fit for a Snoop/Wilson collaborations. This joint is a hyper track with Wilson’s vocals reminiesient of his days with the Gap Band, where he was dynamic to sya this least. You wil definitely realize that Wilson is fast forward to 2009 when Snoop chimes in in this track kicking it up a notch. Lyrics on this track is great too, if you cna force yourself to stop dancing.
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After wearing out this Uncle Charlie record on my MP3 there is no doubt that you should have it in your collection too. Wilson aims to please, he hit this one out of the ballpark. On tour to promote the Uncle Charlie album. Wilson is scheduled to perform on the 2009 Essence Jazz Festival over the July 4th weekend In New Orleans.

RIP Wayman!!!

May 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Rest In Peace Wayman

Rest In Peace Wayman


Today we mourn the death of Wayman Lawrence Tisdale (June 9, 1964 – May 15, 2009). We pray for his family, and hope that we can all vow to continue the fight against cancer. Wayman, thanks for the sports highlights and the wonderful music you made. May Your soul rest in peace. Tisdale is survived by wife Regina and their four children.